Holy Monastery of Esfigmenou,
Holy Mountain

Proclamation of the Reinstatement

It is with great honor that we take this opportunity to address and inform all pious Christians and, in general, everybody who holds in the highest regard and respect the Holy Mountain. Based on a decision taken by the Holy Community of Mount Alhos, our Holy Monastery is once again returning to the road of ecclesiastical and customary union with the Holy Mountain under the help of God and the providence of the Most Holy Theotokos who ceaselessly looks after the care and the course of Her garden. Thus, our humble brotherhood has been asked and granted the awesome task of the reopening of the Monastery of Esfigmenou.
We are assuming this copious task having full knowledge of the great sense of duty attached to it and also ready, with the Grace of God, to face all of the existing and upcoming needs. We have already taken the necessary steps to gradually proceed with the complete restoration of all the Monastery's functions constantly beseeching God to guide and enlighten us throughout this process.
It is well renowned that the central building of the Monastery complex is currently under the control of a group of men. These individuals are erroneously portraying themselves as the sole defenders of Orthodox Dogmas and consider the rest of the monks of Mount Athos and Orthodox Christians to be of false faith.
Consequently, we would like to direct our love aid attention to these individuals and to explain that we do not have any personal conflicts with any of them. However, we do cultivate the hope that this statement will reach the hands of one of them. We also prompt them to read it, consider its content and respond, in relationship to themselves, to some of the following: Are they apprehensive of the state of affairs in which they have
been implicated? More specifically, the Church has declared them schismatic while their brotherhood is considered disbanded by the Holy Mountain, In addition, the Greek civil authorities are already taken the necessary steps required to carry out the decisions reached by the Holy Community based on which the individuals are to be removed from the grounds of the Athonite Mountain after having all of their appeals rejected by the General Council of the country. These individuals should be apprehensive of the feet that all decisions are irreversible and they now operate under a slate of lawlessness and disorder. The individuals are no longer regarded as monks of the Monastery of Esfigmenou nor of the community of the Holy Mountain.
The aforementioned facts are in effect for the majority of the group whose basis does not have access to the information available thus disregarding (the decisions) and suffering within the walls of the Monastery's central building. To those who are part of this group we would like to extend our hands in a gesture of friendship and love and invite them to join us with a spirit of sincerity. Let it be known, that in our company they will find a shelter and a refuge.
This is also intended for those few who are leading this situation and who, unquestionably, are aware of the reality and the seriousness of the matter. However, they tend to introduce their personal beliefs as ones shared by an entire brotherhood which is portrayed as united in solidarity. By spreading false rumors and accusations they try to depict themselves as being persecuted and in danger. In all reality, they are disappointed because they failed to accomplish their mission in which so passionately hoped for, that is, to give a picture of themselves as martyrs over the television set. And now, they are trying to provoke others with a profound disdain (claiming): "Our brotherhood is not
going to abandon the Holy Monastery of Esfigmenou to the disappointment of Mr. Bartholomew and the Holy Community of the Holy Mountain of Athos and going against the decision made by the General Council." Their position creates a great deal of skepticism and concern to any rational human being along with the friends of the Holy Mountain and also raises concerns as to how can it be possible for these individuals to have the audacity to display such ridicule and lack of concern towards the decisions made by the Supreme Court of the Country to which they have appealed.
If there were other people who had made the appeals, it would have been logical to deny the accusations and to not uphold the decisions. But how can it be possible for them to use the name of our Lord and the Most Ho' y Lady the Theotokos and portray themselves as the only authentic interpreters of the divine will based solely on their one¬sided interpretation of the Holy Tradition? How can it be possible to object so fervently to the decisions of the legal authorities which were expressed so clearly and in such great detail through a series of ecclesiastical and civil acts along with judicial decisions? In addition to that we would like to point out the spirit of forbearance and tolerance that has been exercised in the handling of this matter for a decade or so by the community of the Mount Athos. We would also like to ask them the following: Based on what principles do they differentiate themselves from the rest of the offenders of the law who are persecuted and punished for their acts without any exception? What is their aim from the eradication of every law and customs of the Holy Mountain and the Greek Government? In addition: Who is supporting them and their efforts? Is it possible that this may involve powers from across the Atlantic which they are trying to reach given that their website is written exclusively in the English language?
However, afar from die obvious concern about others involved and their intentions we consider it more meaningful to focus completely on the situation in question. To all our brothers and sisters who are concerned about the whereabouts of the Monastery of Esfigmenou and in particular its main building, we would like to report that it is currently under nobody's command. Neither the Holy Mountain nor the Greek Government has been able to approach the Monastery. Thus, they have been unable to exercise their supervision on matters of affairs they are responsible. Evidently, for many years now the current establishment of the monastery has prohibited the Greek Government from gaining access to the grounds thus hindering the completion of their work on artifacts from the ancient times. Although the Holy Community of Mount Athos is the primary guardian and safe keeper of all the artifacts and the Library, they have not been successful in entering the Monastery of Esfigmenou. Even on-duty police officers have been denied access and were restricted from performing their duties. In contrast, the people who are currently in charge of running the Monastery and its affairs are not strangers to the authorities of the Holy Community which based on the Greek Constitution is the official governing body of Mount Athos. These individuals have in their possession speed boats which are being used without any restrictions although the nature of their use and what is being moved through them is unknown.
All these events have become of significant importance given the fact that the Monastery of Esfigmenou is an official institution recognized by the government with rights to decide about their own matters. As a result, all of the main structures of the monastery along with all of its property and assets are under the control of those who occupy it.
We find it of considerable importance to direct our attention to all the Holy Fathers and beloved brothers of the community of the Holy Mountain along with the rest of the followers of the Old Calendar who live outside the community of Mount Athos, the majority of which lead quiet and pious lives that are inspired by the ideals of our Orthodox faith. We call upon all of them and we ask them to exercise their discretion and make a distinction between their own circumstances and those of the individuals who illegally occupy the Monastery's complex. That is, to distinguish between their conduct of sensitivity, tranquility, expression of love and humility and the monks? display of fanaticism, extremism, hate, and boisterous haughtiness.
In closing, we would like to reaffirm our position that we are all here working meticulously with a deep conviction that with the Grace of God our mission will be completed successfully. At the same time we are calling upon everybody asking them to rise to the occasion, remain vigilant of the possible dangers, and take a stand on this decisive matter.

The abbot of the Monastery of Esfigmenou
+Archim. Chrysostomos
and my brothers in Christ with me.